Archive for the ‘Disaster Recovery’ Category

Communicate always and all ways!

August 15th, 2015 by Mary Kay Hyde-Bohn
Example of not wanting to have the conversation about Continuity or Disaster planning.

These 3 Buddha’s are sitting back, covering their eyes, mouth and ears. Just like an otherwise savvy business person ... who does not want to have the critical conversation about Continuity or Disaster planning.

The last two months have been a flurry of webinars with similar themes – you have to communicate during a Crisis to your employees, your customers, vendors, suppliers and local/regional community! The right words and the right media for individual audiences or public/strangers will fill the void with inaccurate misinformation – in other words, info-trash that will ruin your business or your reputation!

The after-event internal reviews have consistently brought up communication omissions or shortfalls to all audiences. The clean-up work due to misinformation or false information may take months to correct.

To summarize the main points of the discussions/webinars (not in any order):

DO’s

  • Define your audiences (internal & external)
  • Define the best method to reach each audience in times of crisis (may be different by audience)
  • Have draft texts ready for use by audience, type and severity of event(s)
  • Respect the gravity/severity of each event
  • Create checklists for each phase of crisis & decide communication actions
  • Create, train & exercise the team doing the Crisis Communicating; create team structure (authority or approval levels) and backups.
  • Make sure Communication team has IT authority to update media formats (add & remove)
  • Have plan for press/media conference room, if appropriate; all else is electronic if power is available.
  • Inform and train the employees on where to receive and send information
  • Communicate with Customers with media they normally use, if possible.
  • Engage with Emergency Response Team for ‘go/no go’ decision; confirm with internal Crisis Management team for severity level to work with.
  • Monitor other media outlets for information or misinformation
  • Post only most current information; remove old/dated information
  • Keep a running total of team time & effort
  • Log any IT issues for immediate and deferred correction – don’t try to fix a minor problem in the ‘heat of moment’.
  • Have a plan for power outage scenario.

Do Not’s

  • Forget the Communication checklist
  • Use one message for every audience; tailor each message for each audience & delivery media
  • Select only one media; use them all!
  • Create new accounts during crisis (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • Make the media only one way; give opportunity to send feedback
  • Expect your company is the only one involved; share connections.
  • Expect for power to be available at all times.
  • Forget to keep a list of all messages sent, to what distribution list and what media.

The organizations that hosted these webinars have materials on their web sites for further reference:

FIRESTORM WEBINARS: http://www.firestorm.com/learn/form-download-brief-six-stages-of-crisis-for-communication-planning.html

Agility Recovery: http://www2.agilityrecovery.com/assets/slides/Agility-Social_Media.pdf

Everbridge; http://www.everbridge.com/control-communication-throughout-the-lifecycle-of-a-crisis/

Plan. Prepare. Prevail.

April 20th, 2015 by Mary Kay Hyde-Bohn

As part of the Colorado Rocky Mountain Chapter of Association of Contingency Planners, we RckyMtnCapAssocContingencyPlannersLOGOget briefings from various organizations, companies and facilities.

On Friday, April 17th we were invited to the Federal Reserve Branch in Denver, which is actually a branch of the Kansas City Reserve Bank. Part of the briefing consisted of the normal barrage of statistics on the paper money of the United States as it flows in and out of the building and the overall system. It still amazes me that our paper money is pretty tough to last through all the stuff we put it through!

The second part of the briefing is what is of interest to this writing:
The Federal Reserve, FEMA and a couple non-profits have created several documents for employers and employees to complete as a part of ‘financial preparedness’.

Their program is titled “Plan, Prepare, Prevail.”

As part of their research to determine what resources they could provide to an 2015-04-22_EmployeeFinancialPreparedness- A Disaster Financial Readiness & Recovery Blueprintemployer or employee, it was discovered that $400.00 is the breakpoint for an employee. If they did not have that amount available for a health issue, new tires, unexpected car repair, etc. – they would be in trouble. If an employee is distracted at work you have problems: safety, work getting done, attitude, etc. If they have to take time off from work to resolve the issue you still have problems back at work due to the absence. Using the Federal Reserve’s education materials or trainers there can be free ‘financial education’ for your employees; also your bank might offer similar services. Per several of our chapter members that are in banking, they know their trainers use the Fed documents for training at schools – it’s your government’s resources – use them and often!

There is also a form for small businesses, if your CPA, insurance agent or banker have not given you something similar – fill it out and give it to key employees who have authority to execute these accounts if needed or save it electronically. If you save it electronically, be sure you have access from any secure location and make sure at least one other person has access.

Both forms are available on the above web site or you can order hardcopies, in English and Spanish and are PDF automated, meaning you can fill them out on-line and save the completed form.

There are blanks for all the basic financial information: bank accounts, insurance policies with contact phone numbers and account numbers. Utilities with account numbers and contact information is something I had not thought of, but getting the old bills with those numbers might not be feasible if the location of those documents is inside a burned or flooded building.

The section that gave us pause in the briefing was the last part of the form - Irreplaceable times to take during evacuation. This is what we never want to really think about or plan for --- if I am at work do I race back to my office and grab the PC, phone and purse/wallet, favorite coffee mug or any of the personal stuff around my desk? If I am at home – do I grab the pictures that are in the far corner of the basement, then the empty kennels to use for scared pets or my classic 33’s and the new turntable?

We do need to consider our actions before we have to react! Doing it now gives us choices and plans – all of which can be updated or changed – but not ignored!

“The key deliverables that result from a comprehensive business continuity plan are choices. You get to decide what to do before a disaster instead of afterwards or worse, in the middle of one. It is a fact of life that most things are scarier when you have your back turned to them. Having knowledge gives you the power to act and allows you to be proactive, instead of reactive”

- David Kinlaw, CloudTweaks May 13, 2014

 

 

Starting the discussion on Crisis Planning

March 31st, 2015 by Mary Kay Hyde-Bohn
Pothole

Pothole (little crisis) vs. Sinkhole (big disaster)

To start any discussion on preparedness or crisis planning, you must start at the beginning of your business processes – your daily tasks.

The Business Continuity Partners of the West philosophy is that preparedness starts with the daily details: process, vendors, suppliers, employees, employee cross training, equipment & tools all being able to work every day with consistent maintenance. Then the business owner and partners (employees & external team) can decide what actions to take to respond to little crisis (potholes) and plan for the big disaster (sinkholes) response.

As business owner or highest partner in an organization you need to identify and work with your external partners on a regular basis: Banker, CPA, Insurance Agent and Lawyer. These folks are in business to keep you in business. The external circle of partners expands as you identify your vendor partners, facility partners, not to mention your customers are depending on you and your team to deliver your product(s).

Next you will identify your internal partners, those employees that will help identify and document your processes, support tasks and all details around vendors or suppliers. These should be the folks that also are free to point out the gaps and propose solutions.

In coming articles, we’ll explore those things that can cause potholes, because if you can’t manage through the potholes, you surely will not survive a sinkhole!

Business Continuity Partners of the West

August 18th, 2014 by Mary Kay Hyde-Bohn
Business Continuity Partners of the West

Business Continuity Partners of the West

Business Continuity Partners of the West is THE resource to make sure your business never screeches to a halt again!

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